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What Are the Health Benefits of Using Lactic Acid?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 20, 2022

Lactic acid is a naturally occurring substance that you’ll often hear about in the fitness world. Your body can produce lactic acid on its own when it breaks down carbohydrates to create energy during times that your oxygen levels are low, such as when you are doing a strenuous workout.

It is also produced during the fermentation process for making food such as cheese, wine, and sauerkraut. While the name lactic acid tends to make people think that it only comes from dairy products, the truth is that you can find it in many vegan food sources.

Using lactic acid provides multiple benefits for your body that can help you meet your goals for living a healthy lifestyle.

Provide Fuel for Muscles During Exercise

When you are curious about lactic acid in food vegan bodybuilders will be happy to know that using it also helps to build stronger muscles. In the past, people believed that too much lactic acid buildup was what led to post-exercise soreness. However, it is now known that this isn’t the case. Post-workout pain is typically caused more by small microtears that occur in your muscles before they build themselves back up stronger.

The lactic acid in your body does increase during your workouts, but it serves a helpful role. Lactic acid provides energy to your muscle cells, which helps you to push yourself harder during every workout. After you finish, it then helps to stimulate cellular regeneration that helps strengthen muscle tissue.

Promote Better Gut Health

Probiotics are likely a huge part of your vegan diet, but it can sometimes be hard to get enough of them when you prefer not to eat animal-based foods such as yogurt. Fortunately, the answer to your question is lactic acid dairy free is absolutely! You can find many different types of dairy-free lactic acid, such as pickled veggies.

Consuming foods and supplements with lactic acid helps to put the beneficial bacteria directly in your gut where it can get to work on strengthening your immune system and providing your body with additional health benefits.

Improve Digestion

Better gut health also translates to improved digestion. Your body relies on the good bacteria in your digestive tract to help break down your food and eliminate harmful pathogens. Improving your digestion means that you’ll get more nutrients out of every meal. You may also be able to reduce the symptoms of common health conditions such as constipation and diarrhea.

Maintain Healthier Skin

You will sometimes find lactic acid in skin care products such as facial masks and moisturizers. Lactic acid helps to stimulate cellular turnover while breaking down dead cells on the surface of your skin. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use products with at least a 12% or higher concentration of lactic acid to get the fullest possible effects. As a vegan, you’ll also want to make sure to only use skin care products that are not made using animals in any part of the process.

Stimulate the Release of Human Growth Hormone

The human growth hormone supports muscle growth and fat loss, which is important when you are motivated to build a healthier body. When you work out at an intensity that goes above your body’s lactic acid threshold, your body produces more human growth hormone. While the connection between the two is unknown, fueling your body with lactic acid can help other aspects of your metabolism kick in so that you receive maximum benefits from every workout.

Boost Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption

Working out uses tons of energy, which is what helps with fat loss. However, the post-recovery period is also a critical time when your body is burning calories as it works to return its systems back to normal. Lactic acid accumulation in the body has been associated with higher rates of post-exercise oxygen consumption, or afterburn, which makes your workouts more effective.

Increase Your Body’s Ability to Absorb Nutrients

Eating beans and other iron-rich foods is important when you are on a meatless diet. While you may fill your plate with lots of dark leafy greens, mushrooms and legumes, you may still feel the effects of anemia if you don’t take steps to prevent your body from depleting its stores of iron.

Lactic acid has been shown to help increase the body’s absorption of iron. Adding some salad dressing that contains lactic acid to your leafy greens could help you to get more nutrients out of each bite.


Is lactic acid vegan?

Lactic acid can often come in vegan versions, but you’ll need to be cautious. Some lactic acid comes from animal-based products.

A common way to make lactic acid is to use lactose, which is a sugar that is found in dairy products. While there will no longer be any traces of lactose in the lactic acid by the time it is made, you might still prefer to avoid it because it was made from animals.

If you prefer to stick to vegan lactic acid, then look for products that use plant-based sources such as beet sugar.

What is vegan lactic acid?

For lactic acid to be vegan, it shouldn’t come from any animal source. Vegan lactic acid is made using a similar fermentation process as non-vegan types, but it will start with a plant-based carbohydrate such as cornstarch rather than lactose.

How do you make sure lactic acid is vegan?

For the most part, you can trust that a product that seems vegan-friendly likely contains lactic acid that comes from plant-based sources. For instance, pickled vegetables are generally vegan-friendly.

If you aren’t certain of a product’s origins, then you might want to reach out to the manufacturer. They should be able to tell you the source of their lactic acid. Sticking to your favorite vegan brands can also help you avoid accidentally using animal-based lactic acid.


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